The Victorian Ecumenical System of Schools (VESS) is a registered public company, limited by guarantee. The Board of Directors and Executive staff work together to establish goals, define policy, and establish working protocols.
The System is unique in that it is controlled by its member schools, with the Board of Directors comprising a representative from each member school. This allows for a co-operative management style, preserving the individuality and autonomy of the System’s members, while still providing the benefits of belonging to a group. As a result, the System’s independent and diverse member schools enjoy the benefits of being part of a collective without losing any autonomy through System membership—a unique position of being ‘systemically independent’.
There are three main points of focus which direct the System’s operations:
- Learning: supporting members in their provision of outstanding educational opportunities and experiences for their students and communities;
- Financial: maximising and sustaining levels of government funding for member schools;
- Protection: mitigating risk and supporting member schools in meeting their compliance obligations.
‘Excellence, equity and diversity in education for all’
VESS strives for excellence, equity and access of education through:
- Supporting member schools in developing innovative learning and wellbeing programs for students;
- Providing exceptional professional learning programs for staff of member schools that build their capacity as educators and leaders;
- Influencing government in the design of educational policy;
- Establishing robust systems, processes and structures to support member schools in executing their financial, operational and compliance obligations.
The Directors of VESS pledge to administer the System in accordance with civil law, fiduciary responsibilities, and principles of good governance.
VESS schools have clearly-stated commitment to the safety and wellbeing of children. They will not tolerate child abuse, and have procedures to protect children from maltreatment, and to respond consistently and compassionately to allegations in this area. VESS schools are committed to promoting inclusivity and respect for cultural differences, and a safe environment for children with disabilities.